How to Set Up a Local Web Server on Windows 10?


Scott Campbell

Setting up a local web server on Windows 10 can be a useful tool for web developers and designers. With a local server, you can test your websites or web applications before deploying them to a live server. In this tutorial, we will walk you through the steps to set up your own local web server on Windows 10.

Step 1: Install XAMPP
The first step is to download and install XAMPP, which is an open-source software package that includes Apache, MySQL, PHP, and Perl. These components are essential for running a web server on your Windows 10 machine.

Here’s how to install XAMPP:

  1. Visit the Apache Friends website at https://www.html.
  2. Click on the “XAMPP for Windows” button to start downloading the installer.
  3. Once the download is complete, run the installer.
  4. Follow the instructions in the installation wizard.
  5. Select the components you want to install (Apache, MySQL, PHP).
  6. Choose the installation directory (the default location is usually fine).
  7. Complete the installation process by clicking “Next” and “Finish”.

Step 2: Start Apache and MySQL Services
After installing XAMPP, you need to start both Apache and MySQL services. These services are responsible for hosting your website files and managing your database.

To start Apache and MySQL services:

  1. Launch XAMPP Control Panel by searching for it in the Start menu.
  2. In the control panel window, click on the “Start” button next to both Apache and MySQL.

Step 3: Test Your Web Server
Now that the Apache and MySQL services are running, it’s time to test if your local web server is working correctly. You can do this by creating a simple HTML file and accessing it through your web browser.

Follow these steps to test your web server:

  1. Open a text editor (such as Notepad) and create a new file.
  2. Type the following HTML code into the file:
    <!DOCTYPE html>
      <title>My Local Web Server</title>
      <p>Your local web server is up and running.</p>
  3. Save the file with a .html extension (e.g., index.html).
  4. Move the saved file to the htdocs folder located in your XAMPP installation directory. The default location is usually “C:\xampp\htdocs”.
  5. Open your preferred web browser and enter “http://localhost/index.html” or “http://127.0.1/index.html” in the address bar.
  6. If everything is set up correctly, you should see a webpage with the title “My Local Web Server” and the text “Congratulations!

    Your local web server is up and running. “

Step 4: Configure Virtual Hosts (Optional)
By default, XAMPP uses a folder called “htdocs” to host your website files. However, if you’re working on multiple projects simultaneously, configuring virtual hosts can help organize your development environment.

Here’s how to configure virtual hosts in XAMPP:

  1. Open the Apache configuration file (httpd.conf) located in your XAMPP installation directory.
  2. Search for the line that says “#Include conf/extra/httpd-vhosts.conf“. Remove the “#” at the beginning of the line to uncomment it.
  3. Save the changes and exit the text editor.
  4. Open the Apache virtual hosts configuration file (httpd-vhosts.conf) located in the “conf/extra” folder of your XAMPP installation directory.
  5. Add a new virtual host entry for each project you’re working on. For example:
    <VirtualHost *:80>
      DocumentRoot "C:/xampp/htdocs/project1"
      ServerName project1.local
    <VirtualHost *:80>
      DocumentRoot "C:/xampp/htdocs/project2"
      ServerName project2.local
  6. Save the changes and exit the text editor.
  7. Edit your computer’s hosts file by adding entries for each virtual host you configured. The hosts file is located at “C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts”. For example:
    127.1 project1.local
    127.1 project2.local
  8. Save the changes and exit the text editor.

Step 5: Restart Apache
After configuring virtual hosts, you need to restart Apache for the changes to take effect.

To restart Apache:

  1. In XAMPP Control Panel, click on the “Stop” button next to Apache.
  2. Wait a few seconds, then click on the “Start” button to restart Apache.

Congratulations! You have successfully set up a local web server on Windows 10 using XAMPP.

Now you can develop and test your websites or web applications locally before deploying them to a live server. Enjoy coding and happy web development!

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